Testing a New Design, #3

I think the overall consensus so far was that the layout on #1 was better, but #2 had a better color design. So for #3, I found a theme that the designer of #2 did, but using a layout closer to that of #1.

What do you think of this one? Please share your opinion in the poll and/or the comments. Thanks!

Note: I will transplant our favorite sidebars, such as recent comments, to the winning design. Iā€™m not disposed to put that effort into every theme, since that could result in spending more hours working on it than the hours it actually stays up! Also note: If this one’s the keeper out of the bunch, I will change the logo. I just didn’t have the time tonight.

[polldaddy poll=2706689]

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41 Letters to the Editor

Southern Gospel Journal welcomes letters to the editor. We will post the most thoughtful and insightful submissions. Ground rules: Don't attack or belittle groups or fellow posters, or advance heresies rejected by orthodox Christianity. Do keep comments positive, constructive, and on topic.
  1. I’m still a big fan of the layout of number 1 and the colors of number 2. This one isn’t my favorite at all. It’s nice, though.

    • That being said, I think I’d rather have the great layout than the colors. So if I had to choose between the three, I’d go with number one.

  2. Got some titles overlapping the right column. I don’t care for the colors of this one.

    • Do you like it any better in blue?

  3. I prefer the first one personally… šŸ™‚

  4. I think you should just go back to the old theme. I’m more used to it, and it’s musch easier to real.

    • I could do that if technology would stay frozen in time. But it’s becoming less and less compatible with current editions of WordPress over time.

      Picture a Windows 95 computer trying to load this site. I’m not saying it would be impossible to trick it into doing it, but it would get harder over time.

  5. The print is way to light on this one, and one of the titles is overlapping onto the side, but at least the number of comments is outside the thread. šŸ™‚

    • The overlapping title has been fixed. šŸ™‚

      • When I put my mouse over the title on the outside it says “permanent link to testing a new design, #3” To me, that print, used as the print inside the thread would be a much better print than the print you are using now. This stuff is to light against the background.

      • …other than that though, I really like this one and I love the blue also… šŸ™‚

  6. It is great that Daniel is giving us the opportunity to be involved in this process.
    It is very difficult to get the perfect combination to please everyone.
    Any web site or blog owner realize that any given company only offer certain choices of color, styles and layouts. Combinations most of the time are hard to do for various reasons.

    On a less serious side, now know why when I was on a church building committee that the born again architect from the onset stated he will only offer 2 choices to the committee/church in the design process.

    I would suggest form a committee.
    On the other, I will not do it based on a definition of a committee. Also, we are willing, Daniel is a role model for us as a blogger and the work is necessary.
    A committee is a group of the unwilling appointed by the incompetent to do the unnecessary.

    Back to the work at hand.

    • I was a graphic designer for 40 years, before I retired to full-time ministry. I agree with your architect: two choices. Given several choices, the client will cherry-pick elements among them, in order to come up with his own design which is what he really wanted to do all along if he had the talent. So he ends up with a camel, which is really a horse designed by a committee.

      • Interesting.

        I think I had too many to do an initial run of two, but I might just use this process to narrow it down to two.

        Or I might take the feedback on each design and make a final decision on my own.

        When I launched McFire (the theme I used for two years) there were elements that didn’t display properly for some people. That’s the biggest reason I’m going through all the possibilities.

  7. To all those who didn’t like the color: Is blue any better?

    This is probably the one (of all of them) that I’m most inclined to keep. We’ll see. . .

    • Great layout; nicely organized, text is a good size, good color. Only thing I’d like a little better is to see a little more of the blog post, if it’s possible.

  8. Don’t like the layout of #3 at all. Don’t have enough of the article before you have to go for more. Then you have too scroll down to see what’s there. Go for NUMBER 1

  9. Of all three…this is the best to me. I didn’t like #1 at all. #2 was ok. But this one seems to be the easiest to navigate. My opinion.

  10. I still like #1 the best with the darker font. Yesterdays and todays is not visual appealing to me. With # 1 I could see at a glance which article I wanted to read fist. The glow bombarded my eyes when I first opened it. Again the font is too light. I also agree with Robert York.

  11. This is stating to sound like a Gospel Music concert sound check, testing-one- two- three

    • You will shortly see that I can count higher than three, though!

  12. I like this by far the best of the three as far as design/layout/color. However, my aging eyes would highly appreciate darker print. Other than that, I believe you might be arriving at the home stretch!

    • I think I could darken the text.

      I’m thinking this may be the home stretch, too. This one may end up the winner, though I will probably test one or two others first.

  13. the third option is the best so far, though navigation was actually easier on the 1st, and more threads could be picked up on the ‘home’ page. The 2nd was actually much harder to navigate by comparison, this is probably between the other two in ease of use terms, but the best aesthetically. I would suggest a final poll between 1 & 3, unless you intend to trial more, which would proably confuse as all!
    it is good to be able to have an imput. thanks for going the extra mile Daniel.

    • I might try more yet. I did have about 15 that I really liked …

      … but I won’t actually test that many!

  14. One huge advantage this has over #1 is an active developer keeping it up to date. #1 would become obsolete sooner.

    • I understand that.

  15. I like #2 better but I do like how this one gives the previews of the first two in one-across format and then two-across previews of the next few posts.

    • I agree with that.

  16. My first reaction was pretty negative … it seemed like a lot of empty space up at the top. But is that because it still says “Glow Theme” instead of SG Blog? I do like the features, and the tabs across the top. Maybe it’s OK!

    • Yeah, I’ll certainly fix the logo if I keep it. I love the menus on this one!

      • Second visit, further thought … I think I am OK with it except that it has a “wasted space” feel (to me) that you might modify. Now, I know that in this day it is necessary to space stuff out nicely to keep people reading. But with everything double-spaced, how far must it be to scroll through longer interviews, and even moderate numbers of comments? I don’t like something that, when I try to scroll around, jumps several times farther than I want.
        I’m not personally a fan of big print on the home page either, but I’m sure that it will actually score points with some, so I’m not even suggesting you change that.
        I didn’t notice your comment about changing the logo before … My first reaction was to like this the least, but I’m kind of doing an about-face.

      • Part of the open area is intentional, part is since I turned off featured articles. That would have given a very different look!

        I can probably re-code to eliminate double spacing. If I keep it, I’ll look into it.

        I’m glad you’re getting to like it, because it has several advantages the first two didn’t have, and I’m not sure any of the options are better (though I’ll probably try or two more).

      • Daniel, this one certainly could offer the most potential I think.

      • Thanks!

  17. Number 1 is my favorite, but this is a very close second, maybe only by a bit. I never figured you for the pink/rose/whatever color #2 was…lol.

    Thanks for including us, as always.

    • You’re welcome!

      The color is technically cherry.

      Actually, on that one, I mainly loved the turquoise tabs!

  18. Still trying to figure out what was wrong with the (very nice, in my opinion) dark red theme you used for a while?

    • You mean the one for the last two years?

      It hasn’t officially been compatible with the last five or six releases of WordPress, maybe more. It was getting past the point where it was feasible to tweak it further and further.

  19. So you have to keep a website up to date with WordPress? (sorry, I’m illiterate on website maintenance šŸ™‚ )

    Either way, I really enjoyed that site’s design. I generally don’t like a major website revamping unless it is extremely user-friendly or an artist’s website. Constant, complete makeovers of blogs/forums can be cumbersome.

    • Many people could take WordPress and leave it as-is, kind of like someone could still be using Windows 98 and be happy with it. I like keeping it up to date (especially since it’s free!)

      I try to keep makeovers occasional, but every now and then they are needed!